Rural Management Strategies has been facilitating the Southern NSW Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) for GRDC since July 2017. An initiative of GRDC, the RCSN draws on a group of twelve growers, advisors and researchers from across southern NSW, to assist GRDC in identifying and prioritising research issues relevant to the grains industry in southern NSW. Ten Open Forum meetings were held from August 2017 to March 2018. These meetings, open to grain growers, advisors, agribusiness and other members of the grains industry, are an opportunity for anyone to bring forward issues, constraints or opportunities relevant to their locations.
The RCSN group met in February to discuss, scope and prioritise the issues raised at the Open Forums, assisting GRDC to develop targeted activities to address those issues. A list of locally specific issues was developed and provided to GRDC.
Issues identified included:
- Acid tolerant rhizobia – fast tracking to market
- Brome grass management
- Feathertop Rhodes Grass
- Managing pastures for Organic Carbon, Nitrogen and weed control benefits to crops
- Sprouting tolerance of wheat
- Wild Oat management with changing emergence patterns
- Soil acidity – defining knowledge gaps and extending the soil acidity message to under 35’s
- Improving irrigation efficiency ($/ML) for irrigated grains
- Benchmarking irrigation systems
- Irrigated Durum Best Management Practice (BMP)
- Irrigated Maize Best Management Practice (BMP)
- Hyper yielding irrigated cereals – extension and demonstration in NSW irrigation and HRZ areas
- Integration of cotton with cereals, canola and pulses
These issues will be considered by GRDC as part of their continuous investment process.
Several positions within the RCSN group will become available in coming months. The group is to be made up of grain growers, advisors and research providers, representing a cross section of farming systems, with diversity of age, experience and gender. Group members are required to attend two-day meetings twice per year, plus assist in developing and running Open Forum meetings in their location. Anyone interested in taking part is encouraged to apply, once expressions of interest are released. Positions will be advertised through the GRDC’s communication channels.